The Indian embassy in Beijing responded to an appeal made by Mumbai-based dentist Punnet Mehra for early repatriation of the mortal remains of his mother, 63-year-old mother Rita Mehra, to India. The Indian Embassy on Monday stated that they have started pursuing the matter with all relevant authorities. The delay in this regard is due to the severe restrictions imposed on funeral homes and movement in China due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
The embassy stated, "As per existing regulations in China, funeral homes located in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou only are authorised to carry out embalming and anti-sepsis procedures with mortal remains of a foreigner for air transportation."
In a letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Mehra had said that his mother passed away on the flight that had led to an emergency landing of the Air China CA166 aircraft at Zhengzhou airport in Henan.
Adding further he wrote, "I have returned back to India but my mother's body is still at Henan Province Provincial Hospital morgue. It's been 18 days now and my mother's body is still there. I request you to help me transport my mother's remains to Mumbai, India so that her last rights can be done here respectfully".
With the outbreak of epidemic and deadly viruses in the land of China, the state is undergoing a "completely derailed life". The most affected areas are East Asian countries particularly in Hubei and adjoining provinces due to the "severity of the spread and number of deaths that have taken place so far."
"As a consequence of the same, there is a delay in transportation of the mortal remains of Late Mrs. Rita Rajinder Mehra to India by the Agency that you have hired in this regard," the Embassy added.
The above-mentioned obstacles seem impractical to work under current circumstances prevailing in China. The Embassy has started pursuing the matter with legal authorities to look at all the possibilities for transportation of mortal remains from Henan to Bejing and further to India.